Satellite Tagged Sea Turtles
The Marine GIS Group is monitoring the rescued, rehabilitated, and released sea turtles from the New England Aquarium using satellite tagging technology. Using this technology allows us to understand the survivorship of these individuals and gives us a glimpse into habitat use for these species.
Each Fall, anywhere from 25 to 150 young sea turtles are rescued from the cold waters and beaches of Cape Cod Bay. Most of these turtles consist of critically endangered Kemp’s ridleys, but other species like the endangered Green sea turtle are found as well. Volunteer walkers from the Massachusetts Audubon Society comb dozens of miles of beach trying to find the sea turtles.
Those sea turtles are brought to the veterinarians at the New England Aquarium with extreme hypothermia, severe dehydration, pneumonia and often shell or bone fractures. Their treatment can last from several months to two years.
After being brought back to a healthy state, the rehabilitated turtles are released back into the wild. Some are fitted with satelitte tracking tags like the one pictured to the left. These send out transmissions that tell us the location of the animal along with additional information like water temperature and diving depths.
To learn more about the New England Aquarium's sea turtle conservation and research, click here.